September 19, 2001 -- James Woods — who's best known for playing bad guys in films like Final Fantasy and Ghosts of Mississippi — is now playing a good citizen by tipping off the FBI about his encounter with four suspicious airline passengers a month before last Tuesday's attacks on America, Reuters reports
On a flight from Boston to Los Angeles about a month ago, Woods observed four men of apparent Middle Eastern origin acting so oddly that he reported them to the flight attendants and authorities on the ground when he landed.
The Oscar-nominated actor told the FBI last week that he was alone in first class with the four men and noticed during the entire cross-country flight that none of them had anything to eat or drink, nor did they read, sleep, or appear to make themselves comfortable. They sat erect in their seats and stared straight ahead, saying nothing to flight attendants and speaking to each other only in inaudible tones.
Woods, who was flying back to Los Angeles after visiting his mother in Boston, said via his publicist that he was extremely unsettled by their behavior.
The flight now appears to have been a dry run for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, in which hijackers seized and crashed four commercial planes, including one flying the same Boston-to-Los Angeles route. The day after the terrorists crashed the planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in western Pennsylvania, Woods called the FBI to report his eerie experience. Federal agents visited him at his home the following day, on Thursday, to interview him in detail, according to Reuters.
Woods declined to publicly discuss his experience, first reported by New York Post columnist Cindy Adams and confirmed by his spokeswoman, Susan Madore. In a brief statement, the actor said, "I think it prudent not to comment on this and let the FBI continue do their job ."
Reuters contributed to this story.